Of the top 20 universities in the UK for Computer Science and IT, the University of Warwick is the most digitally savvy at using online communication channels, according to a study by Virgin Media Business. Warwick scored 92 per cent in the survey that looked at the use of intranets, virtual tours, and a social media presence to attract students.
Both Newcastle University and University College London (UCL) came a close second using 11 out of the 13 communications channels analysed as part of the study. Encouragingly, a total of 65 per cent of the universities surveyed used new media to communicate and engage with students.
“Universities are huge organisations. Our research shows the top universities are acting just like a successful private organisation would. 99 per cent of all 18-24 year olds in the UK use the internet, so universities need to be making the most of new media tools to boost application numbers by interacting with students on whole new level,” said Tony Grace, chief operating officer at Virgin Media Business.
“These results show British universities really understand the need to engage with students using a variety of communications tools. But they can’t rest on their laurels. New platforms are launching all the time, so there’s always new ways in which universities can help their staff and students teach and learn together.
“Online webinars, virtual campus tours and podcasts can put a strain on a university’s network. Although implementing new IT and getting the infrastructure right can be tricky, our universities aim to remain amongst the most digitally savvy on the planet. In our recent paper on future technology, Generation IP, we believe connected cities are just around the corner. Education will be underpinned by technology and connected by data. Classroom lessons will increasingly draw on the consumer gaming world to engage students in lectures and seminar. To prepare for this, universities need to ensure they’re supported by a service provider that allows them to spark the interest of the best students and prepare them for a world where technology sits at the heart of everything we do.”
“We’re honoured to be awarded the title of the most ‘digitally savvy’ university in the Virgin Media Business’ study,” said Ken Punter, head of digital and online communications, University of Warwick.
“For us digital communication is a key medium not just for addressing students and potential students but for a vast range of international audiences that are crucial for a globally connected University such as Warwick.